The HMMWV was originally envisioned as a soft-skin vehicle, primarily intended as a personnel carrier and cargo truck. Under the pressure of combat experience, especially in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the HMMWV family has expanded to include up-armored and heavy variants.
All hardtop HMMWV variants feature a roof hatch with a 360° rotating weapons ring. A short pedestal mount is attached to the ring to support the pintle or the pintle adapter for all standard US military machine guns. Many different mounting systems have been developed to utilize the basic roof hatch gunner arrangement, especially in response to the MOUT and counter-insurgency environment of Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, in order to provide the gunner with front protection and some side protection from small-arms fire, the Gunner's Shield and various Gunner Protection Kits were developed. In addition to weapons mounted at the roof gunner position, HMMWV's have been outfitted with pedestals in the open truck bed, with side weapon mounts designed to be used as firing ports, and with armor boxes to create a convoy escort gun trucks.
This review describes US Army M240B/M249 SA 1 Swing Arm w. H24-6 MG Mount (LRE-35018), the second set from Live Resin designed to give some extra firepower to your modern US vehicles.
The set is packed in a zip-lock bag, additionally secured between a standard Live Resin cardboard 9x10cm backing. Although the kit contains some very delicate pieces, this kind of packing ensured no parts were damaged in transport. The CAD box art on the front shows all the parts included in the kit, while the one on the back lists the accessories available separately from Live Resin which could be combined with this set.
I’m sure most of you have seen pictures of up-gunned US vehicles deployed in the Middle East; roof weapon stations, side firing ports, cargo bed machine gun mounts. The extra firepower ensures survival in a hostile environment. This 1/35 scale set depicts one of the most common vehicle side firing ports for accommodating M240/M249 machine guns, and it also includes M240B weapon system. The set contains 17 parts molded in grey resin. The pieces look good and, as with all the Live Resin offerings I reviewed so far, there are no casting imperfections to report. Some of the pieces are very delicate, so take your time when cleaning them off the large carrier blocks.
The parts are organized on 5 resin blocks; the first one (LRE35018A) carries the M240B and its accessories, the next ones (LRE35018B and C) carry the weapon mount, mounting brackets and ammo feed system, while the last (LRE35018D) has 4 ammo belt portions attached. The M240B included in this set is identical to those in LRE-35014 (US Army M240B), so for a detailed review of the weapon please check this link
Therefore, this review will deal with the parts of the weapon mount and ammo feed system exclusively.
The SA 1 Swing Arm is a double articulated gun mount support providing an exceptional field of fire, and can be utilized on HMMWV's, trucks or gunboats. The SA 1 system is designed to accommodate the H24 machine gun mount family; one end of the swing arm is attached to a vehicle mounting bracket while the H24 mount pintle is inserted in the socket on the other end of the swing arm, with locking pins securing each end of the system. The H24-6 Machine Gun Mount accepts both the M240 family of medium machine guns and M249 family of light machine guns.
The resin pieces in this kit look good and represent the side M240/M249 mount really well in scale. All the tiny swing arm details, like locking pins and tightening screws, are wonderfully rendered. The H24 mount features number of fine points as well, while the M240B is a real gem. I also like the addition of ammo feed system with separately cast ammo belt portions. One of the ammo belts is modeled to fit both the ammo box and enter the weapon through its feed opening… a great feature which was rather poorly executed in most weapon sets up until now. This detail definitely shows how far the guys at Live Resin are ready to go in order to give modelers as realistic end product as possible.
The assembly of the machine gun mount support is pretty much straightforward. The SA 1 Swing Arms are cast separately allowing modelers to position the support system to their own preferences. Small protrusions help in aligning the two swing arms properly while the far end of the SA 1 features a small groove which serves as an anchoring point for the H24-6 mount. As for the H24-6 mount, I would suggest checking the references to understand how the different parts connect to form the mount. I attached some pictures of CAD images from Live Resin website to this review so the readers can see the mount in more detail. Of course, the best references are the authentic images showing the M240B weapon side mount installed on vehicles deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan… these can be easily found browsing the internet.
Three different side mounting brackets are supplied in this kit giving three slightly different options of customizing the mount. Fitting the side mount to vehicles should be fairly easy. I do wish some extra mounting brackets were added, particularly the ones which could be used to mount the M240/M249 as a secondary weapon on the vehicle turret ring, but I guess we’ll see those from Live Resin soon enough.
This set represents one of the most common vehicle swing arm mount systems for accommodating M240/M249 machine guns in 1/35 scale. The set consists of 17 perfectly cast resin parts, which provide everything a modeler needs to build a very accurate and nicely detailed weapon side port. With three different mounting brackets providing a vehicle attachment point, and a superbly rendered M240B weapon system, this kit definitely offers a great value for money.
Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for the review sample.